Equities Roundup: Stocks Rebound After Historic Sell-Off

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After one of the worst days in Wall Street's history, stocks are trading higher today on hopes that the Federal Reserve will be able to provide some much-needed assistance to the economy and market. Stocks are still prone to violent swings, however, as evidenced by the up-and-down, back-and-forth the major indices have already experienced today. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is meeting with the Federal Open Market Committee and a statement is expected at 2 p.m. later today. Though most economists don't believe a third round of quantitative easing is on the way, the Fed is under immense pressure to react after a slew of poor economic data, massive drop in equities, and the recent Standard and Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating threaten a double-dip recession and bear market. Stocks may have found a temporary bottom as market timers try to find buying opportunities, but there's no real catalyst to indicate that the economy is ready to recover. The U.S. Labor Department announced today that productivity in the second quarter fell 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual rate, and also revised first-quarter numbers to show a 0.6 percent decline. Politics in Washington over the nation's debt has not subsided either as President Barack Obama and Republican leaders are still far apart on dealing with the federal deficit. Oil prices are up slightly, but are still trading at only $81 a barrel. Gold, however, has pushed to new highs, reaching $1,782 per ounce at one point. Interestingly, silver has not followed gold's move upward, trading nearly 4 percent lower at just under $38 an ounce.

Major U.S. Stock Indices

DJIA: 10,955.81 (+1.35 percent)
S&P 500: 1,142.31 (+2.04 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,425.76 (+2.89 percent)
Russell 2000: 678.71 (4.26 percent)

In other news:

  • Financials were hit the hardest yesterday, but are rebounding nicely thus far today. Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) are leading the bounce. [Bloomberg]
  • Many investors and media personalities are comparing the current economy to that of 2008's major decline. Here's why they're wrong. [WSJ]
  • Gold has been absolutely scorching hot as of late, and actually for the past few years, but is $5,000 really in store? [CNBC]
  • How one investor, or hedge fund, made nearly $1 billion betting the U.S. would be downgraded. [Daily Mail]
  • This exceptionally niche photo blog is once again relevant. [TBWHOTFB]

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